Motoryacht project?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by capt_jack, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Houston

    capt_jack Junior Member

    Like a lot of you I've dreamed of having a motor yacht, something the family can live aboard and travel on which has driven me to look into the feasibility of building one. I thought I would ask a few questions and make use of all this collective wisdom on bd.net:

    1. My goal is to accommodate 4-6 persons (myself, wife and 2 kids plus some extra space for guests). I like the nordic style cruisers and modified tug styles and figure somewhere around 40ft length will be required for extended trip comfort. We're thinking of traveling mainly in the gulf, Florida Keys / Bahamas, can these boats safely cross the Atlantic or travel the Pacific if built correctly and equipped properly?

    2. From a financial standpoint, would the cost of building my own boat show a substantial savings over buying one? Would a used boat, well taken care of be a wiser choice? (From what I can see the style and size of boat I'm wanting would be extremely expensive vs. building it myself).

    3. Does anyone know of any well documented build and post build stories online for the style and size I'm considering? From my own searching it seems like the sail boat builders tend to write about their projects more.

    4. I'm very interested in Stirling engine based propulsion (solar and fuel sourced converted to electricity). There are some excellent uses of this tech in submarines and solar power generation on land - has anyone seen or experimented with it for boating since the steam power era?
     
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  2. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "From a financial standpoint, would the cost of building my own boat show a substantial savings over buying one? Would a used boat, well taken care of be a wiser choice? (From what I can see the style and size of boat I'm wanting would be extremely expensive vs. building it myself)."

    With the state of the US economy , and deflation continuing it is WAY!!! cheaper to purchase a boat than build one.

    Go to www.yachtsurvey.com/


    And read about the good and crappy points of many boats.

    FF
     
  3. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Have to second that.
    Even in normal times a second hand boat is way cheaper than a homebuild.

    40 ft is hardly enough for a permanent liveaboard, going for a used 44 or upwards would be the better choice imho. Though there are some 42 trawlers around on the barefoot routes.

    So called alternative propulsion systems are still not feasible at present. There is just no way to store enough energy. Solarpower hardly runs your houseload on a passagemaker, and even that is valid only when you are frugal with cooled food and beverage.

    The good old Diesel still is the only reliable and affordable propulsion.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  4. kc135delta
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: Eastern Europe, for now

    kc135delta Junior Member

    I'd take a look at bruce roberts trawler yacht series. You buy the plans and he will send you a cutting file which goes to a steelyard where they cut the pieces to exact specs. Then you just assemble it like a kit with a couple helpers and some welding. If you had the steel assembly done at a yard you could do the fitting out all by yourself. The larger ones 52'-62'+ are designed to Lloyds standards and more than capable of a passage. They are full displacement single engine in the 140-235hp range so fuel consumption will be in the 2-5gph range depending if you have a generator running and your speed. I would find the 62' manageable for a live aboard if your motivated.

    http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/HTML/TRAWLER_YACHTS.htm
     
  5. eric le marin
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Aalesund

    eric le marin naval architect

    I am looking for the same "spirit", and lucky I am, I am in Norway... Lot of old wooden boats.
    I follow what happens with the stirling engines, and I must admit that there is no motor on the shelves, ready to buy.
    Have you heard about gasification ?
    http://www.woodgas.nl/GB/index.html
    Buying an old fishing boat around 50', and adapting a gasifier on the old diesel to steam with wood could be fun...
     
  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Nice idea, Eric. Though not new.
    But the storage still is a problem, one would need three times the space for wood than for Diesel. And the apparatus is not small too.

    kc135delta


    when it MUST be a newbuild, I would not recommend the designer of your choice.
    Michael Kasten or TAD would be much higher on my list. (very much)

    http://www.kastenmarine.com/power.htm
    http://www.tadroberts.ca/

    Regards
    Richard
     
  7. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Houston

    capt_jack Junior Member

    The 40ft choice was based on not being able to find many plans for the style of boats I was looking at above that. I'd love to have a larger boat but I remember reading somewhere that once you get to 52 you're spending huge sums of money "because you can" rather than out of real need. (I guess the author was saying a 40-48 ft is considerably less expensive and large enough in comparison - but everyone has an opinion).

    Stirlings have a lot of potential and are one of those mysterious technologies which can be had by the common people but are cloaked in secrecy. They can be very expensive to develop but are capable of a lot more than most realize. It's something I want to experiment with but I agree it's probably not something to use on this project at this point in time.

    I was considering a fiberglass type build with some composites, actually. (I have the ability and access to create high tech composites for less than market costs). Would a steel boat be more or less expensive?

    Speaking of, does anyone know what type of steel is used in shipping containers and railroad cars?
     
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    A one off in steel would be cheaper than in GRP. And if it shall be a real passagemaker that is the right material to use.

    But when there is a real big advantage for you using GRP why not.

    When the author said 40 - 48ft, he felt right, but that is just his opinion, others have different points of view.

    The 48ft is about the most common size you will see on the barefoot route, there must be a reason.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  9. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Houston

    capt_jack Junior Member

    I have no welding experience, unfortunately. I'm wiling to learn but I'd prefer to hire an experienced welder from a shipyard to do the work.

    I know of an open source, large CNC robot which can be set up for water jet, plasma cutter, etc and costs about 1000 to build. (Not including the cutting device). I'll find the link and post it as I'm sure it could benefit the DIY types.

    I'm wondering if steel dumpsters can be purchased for less than materials cost and if the steel would be thick enough / suitable? The cost of the steel in a boat that size will be pretty high, I imagine.

    A glass boat is something more in reach for a back yard build though I think with some of the new tools available in open source hardware / manufacturing we DIY builders can reach new levels of technical building.

    The CNC robot I mentioned could cut full size panels in wood or metal and do it perfectly every time. I'm no carpenter so it would definately be nice to have, especially when the time comes to finish / furnish a boat.

    I'm picturing an interior based on the modern airstream trailers. Very clean wood and metal surfaces with LED lighting. . .

    I'd still have to find a machine press large enough to make the bends unless I can find a decent design for one of those also...
     
  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I have the impression that your motivation to build is the idea to save some money, instead of enjoying the building process.
    That is a perfect way to run into a desaster.

    To get that straight,, a homebuild is NOT cheaper than a very good second hand boat. never.....
    In many cases it is not cheaper than a professional newbuilt either!
    Almost all homebuilders forget to count the income they loose over the YEARS of building! But there are more points.

    Next point, you cannot build a steel boat from scrap, it is neither worth the risk, nor the additional complication.
    Usually it is not even worth to build the hull and deck yourself, if not the building is what you want really.
    The shell is about 15% of the entire cost, but almost always the biggest task for a homebuilder, due to the large size of the parts and the weight.

    Furnishing / outfitting the boat is what costs the time and money. Plumbing, wiring, cabinetry are the tasks, and they cost time, precious time.

    There is hardly a new "new level of technical building. " in range for a homebuilder. The pro´s know theyr jobs and cannot .

    Get yourself a good second hand boat and enyoy sailing instead of wasting years on end with a doubtful result!

    Regards
    Richard
     
  11. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The hull cost of the boat , therefore the size is not the big cost.

    Some figure 15% to 25% of the boat cost is the hull the rest is finishing the boat.

    If plexiglass fastened to the deck house suits you its cheap.

    "Need" heated, opening, aluminum framed glass windows with wipers , figure $4000 + per window.

    The same set of choices will be required for the entire boat.

    Rebuilt engine & tranny take out , or Starship drive at military pricing.

    Go visit the 60 -80 year old wood boats , and see if a simple interior and lifestyle will work for you.

    Central heat is a wood or oil stove , not a 6 zone oil furnace with heated towel racks.

    You chose,

    FF
     
  12. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Houston

    capt_jack Junior Member

    If the end goal is a new, customized boat then not only is building it myself going to be less expensive it could very well be the difference between being able to own a boat of the size and quality we want or not.

    I've just retired at 40 and have time in abundance. We have a decent income also but at this point it's set up for monthly payments which will last long after I've left this World.

    Welding and carpentry are my only weak areas for this. Electronics, wiring, plumbing, mechanical, etc are well within my range of experience and knowledge. I am a firm believer in finding better ways to do things and have a proven track record of doing so with excellent results. I want to build my own boat because I love to build things, period.

    I do like the idea of buying a used boat and using it while the build project is ongoing. Re-building an existing boat to our needs would be an acceptable alternative to building from scratch for us as well.
     
  13. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    That is a common myth, but just that, a myth.

    When the homebuild is of similar quality then the yard build boat (which nearly never is the case), the difference costwise is not very big. Especially not if the skills are not very high.
    The tools and machinery you need for the construction counts as cost for one boat, where a yard spreads these costs over several boats. To mention just one point.

    But only you can value the ability and skills you can provide, we cannot. But "finding better ways to do things" is a common attempt from amateur builders, usually not achieved.
    The industry is not sleeping, we know what is possible and to which cost and extend.

    Obviously I misunderstood your motivation a bit, it seems now you WANT to build.
    Then find a design which fits your needs and get the hull, deck and superstructure done by a yard / pro, to stay on the safe side and save the first year of time.
    Believe me, there is more than enough of a task left, even if carpentry would be within your expertise. (and a average carpenter has a lot to learn from a average boatbuilder)

    Did you look up the links I provided above?

    Regards
    Richard
     
  14. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    Most homebuilders go about building a boat by a lot of scrounging and used equipement. What you have when you are done is a used boat build by you. Why not buy a used boat for the same or less money and be done with it.

    A boat the size that you want is enough work just to keep it in shape and going all the time.
     

  15. capt_jack
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Houston

    capt_jack Junior Member

    Yes, I'm still going through them all. These are some of the most beautiful and solid boat designs I've seen to date. I especially like that the designer has included the option for diesel-electric propulsion on the larger craft.

    I may have to order study plans from a few categories on the first site and at least one or two on the second.

    Being near Houston I'm thinking of taking this coming weekend and driving up and down the coast to look at some boats and see if there's anything suitable. From the small amount of research I've done it looks like a great time to buy around here right now if you can pay cash.
     
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